BY SEAN CLARK
[Bad Idea Books is a column in which we read an old (or perhaps not) book that is not without merit, but happens to contain or be based on a very flawed premise. We don’t count them as reviews, but we still wanted to share.]
Published: 2009, Eraserhead Press
Genre: Sci-fi, Horror, Short-Run
Bad Idea: Well, it’s a story about a race of children who are enslaved by a race of walking butt monsters that are also Nazis. These Ass Goblins randomly select children each day by sticking a finger in their butts, then later make them eat their own organs, removed anally by poop creatures known as “toilet toads.” The selected children are thrown into a vat to decompose and ferment into “cider” which the Ass Goblins get drunk on nightly while snacking on dried children skin (which aside from their own organs is also the only source of food for the children). The captives spend their waking hours crafting bicycles out of dismembered children parts, because the Ass Goblins have an underground maze they like to ride bikes around in. Also they perform strange experiments and vivisections on twins, mostly grafting body parts onto them. So take your pick of bad idea.
Synopsis: 999 (he doesn’t remember his name, just his serial number) and his conjoined twin Otto are enslaved in the Nazi Ass Goblin compound known as Auschwitz. They, along with the other prisoners, were abducted from their homes in Kidland by the giant carnivorous butt monsters’ flying spaceships. They face daily torture of the most grotesque varieties, and nothing makes much sense. When a crazed Ass Goblin doctor known as White Angel begins experimenting on the twins, transforming them into creatures more monstrous than the Ass Goblins themselves, the children plot a risky escape, right under head honcho Adolf’s nose.
What Went Right?: Pierce is a pretty good writer. The language (while beyond crass) is tight and controlled, the storytelling sound. It’s short enough that even the weak-stomached can make it through. The book certainly doesn’t lack creativity.
Verdict: This is easily one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read. It’s sensationalist shock fiction at its loudest. It’s gory, obscene, and coprophilic. It’s also well-written and quite entertaining. There are probably three camps for this book: people who are offended by the very existence of it; people that think it’s very infantile and ought to be ignored; people who read the title and my description and laughed, and would perhaps flip through it if for some reason it were on a bookstore shelf (but only if no one was watching). Groups one and two are definitely not going to like this book, and probably haven’t gotten this far into my post. People in group three should ask themselves if they like Troma movies. If the answer is “no” or “what’s a Troma movie?” they can join groups one and two in not reading this book. The few remaining should probably give it a shot.